Details of Disappearance
Marie attended a 4-H dance at the Pavilion in Craig, Colorado on November 21, 1979. Afterwards she went to a party at the Shadow Mountain Village mobile home park with her friend, Marty Dean Doolin. Some of Marie's female friends were with them also, and became alarmed because people at the party were using drugs and most of the guests were male. Marie's girlfriends decided to leave as a result, but Marie elected to stay.
Doolin later told investigators that Marie said she had a ride back to her hometown of Hayden, Colorado with an unidentified driver between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on November 21. Doolin stated that this was the last time he saw Marie.
Other witnesses placed Marie at a store in Craig in the early morning hours; however, many of the partygoers' statements conflicted one another and there is still confusion as to when Marie was last seen. Marie's parents filed a missing person's report with the police in Hayden when she did not return home the following morning. She has never been heard from again.
Police initially suspected that Marie had run away from home, but her parents said it was not in her character to do so. Authorities have admitted the initial investigation into her disappearance was mishandled and crucial witnesses and possible suspects were not interviewed.
A week after Marie's disappearance, Doolin was arrested on extortion charges. He admitted to calling Marie's family and demanding $5,000 for their daughter's safe return. Doolin pleaded guilty to telephone harassment and was sentenced to six months in jail and two years on probation.
He was later convicted of an unrelated sexual assault. He maintains that he knows nothing about Marie's disappearance and made the call only to give her family hope that she was still alive.
Numerous rumors have circulated about Marie's disappearance, ranging from voluntary disappearance to murder. There has been speculation for years that Marie died of a drug overdose at the party and her body was buried somewhere in Craig. Authorities said that witnesses' statements supported that theory. Her case was reopened by authorities in 1999, but excavations to this point have been unsuccessful at locating any evidence connected to her disappearance.
Authorities eventually identified two persons of interest in Marie's disappearance besides Doolin: Max Abel Garcia and Stephen "Steve" Skufca. All of them denied involvement in her case. A photo of Skufca is posted with this case summary. He was later convicted of drug charges and sentenced to twelve years in prison, then paroled to live with his mother. He died in an accident in 2012. To the end he maintained his innocence in Marie's disappearance.
Marie was a sophomore at Hayden High School at the time she went missing; she was a good student. She is a former Girl Scout and a member of 4-H, and she helped manage her school wrestling team. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.